tv Essays CSPAN July 4, 2014 3:15pm-4:21pm EDT
have an understanding of the incredible dynamism in sub-saharan africa and the fact, i really believe this is fact, it is one of the most if not the most important story of the 21st century. it might take someone like yourself who has visited or spent time living in africa of little time to get to that realization but it is a slighted vantage in whatever sector if you are working in private equity or public health and you want to do something interesting in technology or you want to start of another business. of family friends who used to pick me up from school when i was growing up in chicago who is from ethiopia, he generated here after having done an advanced degree in what was then czechoslovakia and was working here at the university of
chicago and in 2005 went back to ethiopia. talk about disobeying your parents. he wanted to become a farmer. the agriculture piece was interesting, you could leave medicine in the united states and work in agriculture, ethiopia and find yourself contributing, doing in some ways better, feeling more alive, more in charge, more influential, is really surprising to some people. he had 400 employees, drives five cars, white and two kids, gained a little weight, doing really well. running a business, that is a really exciting dynamic for so many people like myself, first, second generation immigrants in the united states to realize your home country has opportunities your uniquely positioned to seize. that will be an essentials piece
of effort that's story. >> we are out of time, but that is a fantastic place to leave it for now. this book is full of brilliant stories like that that wraps the anecdotal around the analytical strand. the book is "the bright continent: breaking rules and making change in modern africa". dayo olopade, thanks for being here today. it is a brilliant book if you want to understand the continent better, you will buy it. >> thank you, great to be here.
>> that the blind 24 era at he less managing editor for "esquire" magazine then chief speechwriter tear george h. the real bush vice here later the sun king and other turf. of the great book has a great title that is important if you write a great book given a great title including fellow white house mess no way touche treats the first lady. [laughter] supreme court and think you for smoking by the way. his literary circle, the
round table that is a celebrated group of new yorkers that met regularly the inheritors of that tradition was buckley but the late christopher hichens and one can only imagines. ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce the author of bloody enough about you. a cultural critic and historian mr. christopher buckley. [applause] >> hello.
please turn yourself loans back on. [laughter] what an honor to be introduced to have a pleasure of some years now to know him with his delightfully a beautiful wife and the first lady who is a connecticut girl i will point out. and also an author so you will be hearing from her later in this festival. i hasten 2.0 to that how much did you pay for those cheap seats?
[laughter] i have south carolina connections. my grandparents were from camden 1938 so i spent time growing up there. it my case it is an ongoing process. play uncle with there the buckley school of public speaking and certainly most importantly i had good fortune to marry a south carolina girl who is sitting over by the exit. [laughter] and why she showed good sense with in a, let's not go there. katy went to medical school here in columbia and here
the name that was eliot spurring he was of a classmate of f. scott says -- as scott fitzgerald. a class men from a guilty -- a yankee institution of higher education and when the great war broke out he volunteered as of fighter pilot shot down a considerable number of times. that is a technical airplane term. [laughter] then he came home in did became a huge best seller but to say they did not continue to be a writer. [laughter] to afford the fighter things
in life he went into the family business, textiles and made a far better living i suspect that if you would have remained a writer. is that a surprise? [applause] but it's even so they still referred to as -- referred to me as that yankee. [laughter] the title of my book is the nfl about you but i will not bore you to tell you how truly wonderful is but it is attractively packaged. [laughter] and reasonably priced. often of the introductions
make me think the about the author paragraph slap on the back flap. you are familiar with them. they aren't what they pretend they did not write. [laughter] integrated is writers since fitzgerald. [laughter] after a number of books i got bored with the paragraph there was nothing more to say or there wasn't to begin with so i started to make them up. [laughter] and in this book is said he has been an advisor to every american president since william howard taft. [laughter] why not?
so i was on day deborah tannen of the book tour instead of water boarding and sending in seal team six, we could find out where been lauded was hiding much faster so i was walking into of a drive time radio interview. these were generally not occasions of dialogue. that is the greek term. [laughter] there is up hierarchy of there in radio land.
so to hear that you have the drive time radio interview that it consists of someone barking ignoramus questions at you in between the traffic reports. i walked into the studio and the host i saw him hunched over the about the author paragraph. i a new right away this is all he would know about me. [laughter] he looked up at me looking like the cro-magnon. [laughter] and i said -- he said you were adviser to william howard taft? i said yes. [laughter] now something was not right to but he said we will go
with that. are you willing to talk about that? i said yes. [laughter] and we did. [laughter] i have not been invited back but it was kind of worth it. so to mention book titles anybody guess how the new books are published in the united states every year? it is about 1 million. i am not sure they all can read. [laughter] but most of them are from carol oates. [laughter] the others are all titled "50 shades of grey." but titles are very important with the brand you
or you could take another influence right under the 20th century, adolf hitler. hitler's original title for mind calms was 94 and a half-year struggle against lies, stupidity coward ms. would you have wanted to be the editor? cover and the title. no, you tell it. [laughter] sometimes titles get into trouble when they are trained pleaded in to the billing riches. this memorably happened to john steinbeck. when his novel, the grapes of wrath appeared in japan under the title angry raisins. [laughter]
you wonder how "moby dick" went out. [laughter] really angry wail. speaking of fish, peter benchley, the grave of robert benchley, the algonquin round table had a timecard coming up with a table for his famous book. they had gotten it down to three choices. the jaws of death, leviathan rising in the shark. so you probably figured out what book we are talking about. his father, nathaniel benchley mischievously proposed, wanted to call it who is that noshing on my leg? [laughter] you can imagine the hope he bars
in the movie. who's that noshing on my leg slightly undercut it. so anyways, it titles are problematic. the catch-22 was originally titled catchy team for the eight years he was working on it was catchy teen. just before the catch-22 was to be published in august of 1961, his publisher said there's the sky leon uris whose ringing out a title called me in the 18 peered at the worker. we care of two books with the number 18 of them. joe was beside himself. so that is five a catchy teen experience the day of the department of motor vehicles.
this very reasonably priced book is called "but enough about you." my first collection of years ago, so it's a big moment when you have enough to recycle old stuff. publishers hate collections because they don't sell, but i'm sure today you're going to prove them wrong. anyway, have been enough for collections is a big deal for every rider. so i was very puffed up and full of self-important as opposed to say now. i was much younger then. i said let's call it food free to you -- get it? been the classic french word. the trouble is when an american announces this american
announces this word, sounds like a prelude to. they did not think this is a selling point, the monetary aspect. so they fit now, let's not call it that. so there was a piece in the hook and inexperience i had i said let's call it wanted by a dictator. he requires some explanation. in 1991 i found myself is the editor magazine affords and i have a readership of 9000 "forbes" readers and communism had just fallen. the soviet union had just fallen. boris yeltsin -- that you miss horace yeltsin? god, he was such an improvement to what we have now.
he was always standing up on tanks and i've been sort of obsessed with the fact that although the russians had got rid of communism, they still had unread score, sort of the sleeping duty from. although the lines to view it were much shorter. there are actually alternatives now on a saturday night. we want to do tonight? wiki go see see lenin's body again. the perfect date. so i said that if we can give mr. lenin a push. so i wrote up a hoax article, saying we have just received some very hot information that the russians were so strapped for hard current see that they were going to auction off lenin's corpse. but they were very concerned this would need to a dignified
manner and the courts could not be used for commercial purposes, absurd depilatory or floor? and that it would be -- the auction would be conduct to play sealed bids. so then i had to figure out what the opening bid would be for a dead commie tater. this was pre-ebay. now we would know it can second. [laughter] i thought 15 million sort of felt great and so one night about 430 in the afternoon, the news organizations, before the 24/7 news cycle, the good old blessed days. so in fact stood out to about 40
or 50 news outlets thinking maybe we get a wire story out of it. the switchboard lit up like a christmas tree and so we went home so he wouldn't have to lie. [laughter] were journalists. we have ethics. [laughter] a couple of hours later on the nordic track over continuing battle of the bulge. i was watching peter jennings worldviews tonight and that came leonards embalmed face. then i thought it was kind of like remember when you were a kid and you put iraq on the railroad track in the next to the grownups were talking about the derailment.
so the next morning at about 6:00 iphone wearing and it was steve ford. and this was a little earlier than steve typically called me. in fact, she never called me. in fact, steve never called me again. and he said the russians have gone ballistic. it was like that scene in the movie, that are strangelove when they come in and say mr. president, it's premiere kiss off on the hotline and is hopping mad. the minister of the interior, mr. cannot be prolonged cough had broken into a russian tv program, into the russian opera. the mine volvos.
i always wondered about the soviet union. here's a country with 30,000 nuclear warheads and no dermatologists. and then we got gorbachev and he had the whole thing. anyway, he had roped in into russian program to reinsurer annexation that he was not any type pains to denounce me personally i said raisin liar and an international provocateur. i thought core. [laughter] so eventually everyone got their sense of humor back. six months later i was on the train going to new york from washington and i hope you
washington post and there's a huge headline, kremlin dilutes with authors from one good. the weird thing about it was this was a hoax and it's in a front page "new york times" story. it had apparently eludes the 900,000 readers, you know, people who try to dynamos of american capitalism, are apparently too busy to read the newspaper. they were just added in the talks they had come in from dallas, texas. not ross perot, which would have made it very, very good. he was accompanied by a letter only an american could have it. it had the sweetness and innocence to it. you said we just needed our corporate headquarters david
dallas and i was discussing this with our interior designer and he says he thinks mr. lenin would make a fine addition. [laughter] so anyway, there is that during the book. so i can tell that's very with charlie rose that they could get a word in edgewise. they said now, the dead dictator it's not really selling. i don't know, maybe this goes to the sort of whole pointless as i'm attempting satire in america because you know, you're really in a basically amusing contrast with tomorrow's front page. i was introduced once i spoke software in ohio. he was one of the civic occasions at 11:00 in the morning we are working on the seat of a thousand unassertive 50 shades of blue hair and all
women and four has been to have been dragged along. albert come on, you're going to get culture today. [laughter] a very sweet lady introducing me, chairman of the lecture committee introduced me as a satirist. [laughter] and she kept repeating it. she kept sort of going back to it and saying well, he became a satirist -- anyway, so i said we still need a title. i said okay, let's call it bass holes in the story behind those policies to write short humor pieces for the back page of "the new yorker" and i become sort of fascinated and says that the
proliferation of books on fly fishing. fly fishing used to be just fly fishing. you stand in ice cold water up to your you know what catching and you go home and have a pretty good day. and people started bringing out books that invested by fishing these mystical attribute. fly fishing through the midlife crisis, fly fishing through the third divorce. and they have actually serious arguments over whether or not what kind of fly fishing with each of the apostles. st. john was a marvelous dry fly fisherman. saint andrew was a nymph so i wrote a piece on the new flyfishing with publishers weekly and one of the books was
a novel called kills, about a vengeful trout. and then everything took called bass holes and this is an attack on bass fisherman i appear flyfishing purist who battled bass fisherman care about these women but big and cold, which sounded pretty good to me. so this being america, the piece came out of people started going to bookstores asking for these books. they were furious they couldn't find them. they go to the guy at barnes & noble behind the counter in the book they wanted was bass holes. so you go we don't carry bass holes. i read about this in "the new
yorker." we still don't have it. so i said to random house, look, i've done the market research. there is a hunger in the land for a book called bass holes. they said no. precede new yorkers. so i said okay, i've got it. lookout president park. their reaction was pretty much yours. what is he talking about? the story behind not such was a way to work at the white house in 1981, shortly after john hinckley shot president reagan. john wilkes booth shot lincoln to avenge the south. shot president reagan and aaron
away you have to trigger three of idealism in the american political assassin. but it was an attention-getting event. if you remember what they called for traveling staff of mr. bush, the french would call upon trash. you are given a briefing by the secret service concern of what to look for in some insufficient like this, to be an extra pair of eyes and ears. this briefing took place in the darkened basement room in the old executive office building, the marvelous building right next to the white house. in its day it was the world's largest building. if you are building on washington. sitting in a darkened basement,
watching home assassination movies, america's funniest home videos, with expert commentaries , some who had been the. is that berger found, back and forward. you know, the ultimate debbie downer movie. when arthur bremmer shooting, george wallace and then we had this really arresting video footage of an attempt of president park of south korea. you surely remember president park. and he's at a podium much like this, slightly larger crowd 5000, 6000 people. my typical crowd. this is much, much smaller.
the stage is full of his secret service guys, the guys with dark glasses with machine guns. mrs. park is sitting over here. do you have to do this when he speaks? well, she is looking up at him with this expression. this is my absolute favorite part. he skated to the pirate. so in the middle of all of this, a guy appears and starts to walk down the aisle right in front of the podium. pausing to smoke a cigarette he gets to about their and he
reaches in and pulls out a 357 mag m. he takes his time getting comfortable. he wants to get a good platform. then he starts firing. at the podium. president park just as this. [laughter] like this happens all the time. you almost hear him going.i. hate this part. i'm dying up here. [laughter] and now his secret service detail sense says that some name is amiss. panther like reflexes. one of them has some thing that i thought was interesting from a career point of view. he goes and takes cover behind
mrs. park. [laughter] let's hope he never comes to this. he's trading shots at trading shots with this guy, using the first lady as a shield. it's now very quiet in this room. i was just a pot smoking english major who had gone down to washington for speechwriting and i started having a i don't think i'm in kansas city were moment. the issue giving the briefing says we don't do it this way. and i said good. that's good. i like that. and he said if something goes down, which is a phrase i've managed to live my life up to the point without the phrase it's going down occurring, he
said if something goes down you basically have two choices. you can dock or you can take the round. i said i got the duck part. what was that second part again? fondness i was of george herbert walker bush, i was reasonably confident that if it came to that i would probably go for that doc option. but anyway, random house said south korean president aren't really big selling points, so i still needed a title. so i said okay, i've got it. call us to. well, there is the story of the
book. i was 29 years old when i went to washington d.c. as a speechwriter, chief speechwriter to the vice president of the united states. you have to imagine austin powers. i thought, this is big. this is really big and i was going to change history. my speeches with the reprinted in full. though they analyzed in the kremlin by canady brock. not in again. and then, i doubt they are and it took about 72 hours to figure out that nobody particularly cares what a vice president says. we could never even get press coverage for indiantown speeches. the only guy we got was this guy from c-span who it, and set up his camera in the back of the room on a tripod, press the on
button and then go smoke in the lobby. this was in case somebody shot him. so it was very frustrating. one day of december dtv one, the cold war heated up. remember the cold war? don't you miss the cold war? the polls declared martial law and never russian tank division going from devcon for two.com three. i always wanted to be the guy to pick up the phone and say good devcon three. i sometimes do that, but we remain devcon for. take me very serious day. so when the west wing said something to mr. bush in recognition of us having been such a fine vice president cover
such a good team player, they said george will give the official u.s. risk on to this provocation and not every media outlet in the world cared what george bush was going to say. i thought yes, yes, this is all about you. so use giving a a speech the next day and so i wrote the speech with a little input from the grown up. everyone was there and being a highly intellectual, highly educated type person, i went to bartlett's familiar quotations and found a quote. you know, it's always night to have a little classic parsley on the plate.
it was pretty apt, whatever it was. so mr. bush is that they are giving the beach. what a night at the end he is. i think were just beginning to realize how fortunate we were as a country to have him. he's doing great, he's doing fine. and i'm sitting at the staff table with admiral murphy, the four-star navy at earl who is mr. bush's chief is daft. i had been with benedict chipmunks for four years and i thought i'd do some reading about authority figures and then i went to work for a four-star navy at earl and boy are they straight. [laughter] so mr. bush, intel egad to something happening he says the greek historian up sub 10, he
was looking for a consonant. [laughter] any scholar john with admiral murphy is now giving me the eyeball of death. i didn't make up this word. it was like the lamaze class. push. you can do it. [laughter] finally its foot out. admiral murphy cannot do jack me in the chest with his finger and he says next time say plato. so that was the dawn of the plate tonic era bush rhetoric.
random house said they don't like going. so there's a piece. i said let's call it wishart said that. this was a piece i done for all things considered the pr show. i had been called for jury duty in washington d.c. and this is his civic duty of every of erika. but it's not an experience i particularly recommend in washington d.c. there is surely no more pathetic side to this rich democracy of ours and 72 adults tried to squirm out of doing their civic duty. i have a dentist appointment on tuesday. murder trial? so this was during the process called by your dear, which is
french for internal process that mix recredit of ever have it registered to vote. they're all trying to get out of some technicality. he says, does anyone here have any connection to anyone involved first? at the time i was married to a cia officer. i thought this is promising. but remembering it is not a good idea to shot out the name of your life as a deep cover cia officer. but i wasn't about to let this go so i held up my hand in his honor looked at me. i said your honor, approach? i had seen this online order.
[laughter] he said approach. i thought cool, so i approached. but isolate a friend of mine about my big rhetorical moment of court. he said he had served with the special forces of the green berets in vietnam and he was patiently and said he had, it's kind of like the first time i got to say cover me, were so to put a big hole in some areas. most of us don't get to say the really cool lines that you hear, that some people here in real life and others here in movies like charge first bunch, clamp, sutures, three, two, one, a commission or a periscope. in my case it would have been down periscope after ramming
some innocent japanese research vessel. let's get out of here. the captain auclair, what about the survivors? this is my career. i will close this actually with a story told to me by my new friend, christopher hitchens to whom this book is dedicated. but it is purportedly a true story. as a magistrate scotland in the town drunk would hurt brought before him for the team time and he was sick and tired of seeing this guy and his court room. so he let down his set mcdougall, you have been found guilty of the kind of public drunkenness.
it is the sentence that should be taken here to the place of execution and had by your neck ciliary dad. and may god almighty have mercy upon your soul. mcdougall fainted in the bailiff sort of looked up at the magistrate and said i just always wanted to say that. [laughter] thank you, thank you. [applause] i have financed by my kind hosts to answer any question you may have, any questions about bulk sales of the book. i believe the limit just can't per customer. but you can also place orders for additional one.
i would be happy to philip cabal and commit to yield the balance of my time. any questions about thucydides. yes, it is back. idea mac >> well, you just heard it. mr. bush was a delightful guy to work for. he was always the paradox of writing for mr. bush was he was really always better without the tax. he was not a guy attacks. and he had this, you know, mr. bush had these wonderful contrariety is to use the word
my dad would have probably used. he was one of the most athletic of people, one of the most graceful, captain of the baseball team, that he had this sort of funny comment or after he had left the white house in nine e3 i guess it would have been, he was an avid golfer and he went out to pebble beach to play in a pro in charity golf tournament where they had a lot of other celebrities. bill clinton was there and clint eastwood, the usual suspects. it has been televised. so he is teed off the first day and he sliced wickedly into this goal of a female spectator.
it made this sort of horrible liquidy sound. so she has laid bare and mr. bush is almost the most pride in considerate human be. he's the nicest episcopalian aberrant history from greenwich, connecticut. he read over it is apologizing. zero my gosh, i'm sorry. because of his televised. keep going. so a couple hours later he is lining up his pat on the senate peephole and he looks over there is a woman in a wheelchair but there has solid damages. so he ran over and starts apologizing to her all over again. and the woman asserted with
united. finally someone comes over and says mr. president, that if someone else. she was hit at clint eastwood. [laughter] when i first went to work for him, we were always going on trips because part of the job of vice president is a someone dies, you have to go and grieve. his motto is you die, i die. i'm one of the strips, so we would afford country. we would go to the american embassy. he was very good at that. and i loved him. and this was again in 1981 after the hinckley shooting. and he told this story about reagan, which i think is
wonderfully eloquent. he said one day he went to see president reagan and a half little, george washington hospital. so he is ushered into the room. he goes than any kind of himself alone in the hospital room. no president reagan. the bathroom doors and fierce president reagan's tate george, i am in here. so he goes over and president reagan, leader of the free world is down on his hand and knees mopping. mr. bush says, what are you doing? i spoke to moderate one of the have to clean it up. you know, in retrospect it is a story that could be told about
george bush. he would have been down there mopping up the water or whatever it really was. he used to, he's just a washing kid on christmas so the secret service detail could have christmas with their families. he was the loss outplacement enough sebastian. he's been a sentimental man i've ever known. here is this blue blooded flint t., new england guy. george bush has the tear ducts at a sicilian grandmother. if they played the national and him, he started to blubber. a marvelous man and one of the great lessons to have the
blog for my own fred tina brown's new website, the daily these. and i simultaneous laid out a column in the national review. what do you know about national review. in mid-october of the election cycle, in the cup at vietnam were further to servitors writers, dave works, kaplan parker earned a blog that says i gave a reason in an article about why i was going to barack obama. remember who else was on that ticket. well, well, well, and the beast
put that somewhat mischievous headline. sorry, dad. i dad had died in february. while past giving a shift who i was voting for. sorry to put it that way. it would be an exaggeration to say all broke loose. the teapot was made split literature when the national review fired me as a columnist, which was even funnier since i was on the terrace. [laughter] i checked clete owned 17. anyway, the story surfaced, life of the town. now are you asking me, do i
regret it? [inaudible] >> no, i don't regret that. i do not regret not voting for john mccain and said nine. -- do nine -- sarah palin i don't know if my current views on president obama or any riches. is that robby talked about the 47%, i would probably rate myself a number 41% and mr. obama's non-approval rating. i'm a little disappointed. and i think at the time i said
one of the reasons i will vote for him this because they think he has said of fdr had a first-class temperament. i'm not so sure about that. you know, whenever i see him giving a speech, the dignified attract a smart guy and he's a little aloof. here's a guy who spent four hours golfing with mayor bloomberg, did not ask mayor bloomberg one question. if you're a politician and you
had four errors with the various mock new york, with shoe at a question? ids you know this, how do you handle that. and i prattling on here? a week ago one of the other guys is a very, very smart guy. i think he made a star foreign policy guy. what an extraordinary guy we had, a guy who's willing to go
back. enormous political cost to himself. how many people are willing to do that? what were we talking about? [inaudible] [laughter] >> you is a match. and he had a sense of humor, do. after he stopped being president at yell out school offered him a share of flawed at yell and he replied he could not accept a chair, but he could accept a
but you know, i think -- i think there's been a terrible trade-off. you know, we live in the age of katya. what politician would care to be original and say some thing, you know, i think it has made politics harsher. it is of course a fallacy of the highest order to suppose politics is nastier now than it used to be. it used to be probably fired not dear. but i think -- i think the 24/7
blogging has become our enemies. yeah, you can start a revolution in egypt with twitter. is that a good thing? i'm not sure. i [inaudible] >> 19. it's still there. my wife and i lived in worchester sir for three months. i am the only person you will ever hear uttered the word i am witchery in worchester this year. we did.
well, that was before. i am going to brag on my wife. she took me along a couple of years ago. she has worked for you degrees than a person with a lot of it in degrees. she got her diploma from the london school of hygiene and tropical. this is a very intense three-month course given at the masters teacher school for hygiene and tropical disease. she would bring home her hallmark and set next to me on the couch. i would of course be reading thucydides in the original greek. [laughter]